The 2008 Olympics are done. Politics aside, they were the best that I can remember. (Side note: In my humble opinion, politics should stay out of the games. The athletes should not suffer or be slighted in any way due to the host country’s politics.) Technically, the games were the best covered games in history. From high definition television to the Internet to mobile phones, you could get your Olympics coverage just about anywhere at any time. Here in America, they were covered by NBC television. NBC did a terrific job in the coverage. Yes, they were a bit commercial, but I did not mind too much since I did not have to pay a dime to watch them. I was able to watch them on television, over the internet via Silverlight—which, for me, was spot on perfect, but I did not take full advantage of the internet. I could have swiped my wife’s Palm Centro and watched them, but, sadly, on my Moto Q, it was a bit more challenging. I could even get coverage on my Zune, how damned cool is that?
Silverlight, which many questioned the wisdom of it’s use, did a great job. Video was smooth and, while home on my broadband connection, it never skipped a beat. Don’t try if you are on dial up though. NBC’s Olympic website, while busy, was very handy. I had little trouble finding things (the complaints from some blogger’s and podcasters is puzzling) and the all important medal count was super easy to find.
The Chinese wizardry was simply amazing. From the architecture of some of the venues, to the use of the gee-whiz technology, they certainly presented the most modern games in history. Again, politics aside, the Chinese are a wonderfully rich people, culturally and technologically, though the contrast is stark at times.
While the technology involved was amazing, the participants were simply incredible. It does not matter if they won medals or not, they did something that most of us will never do and they did in front of the whole planet.